Last night Blizzard made StarCraft and its expansion Brood War free to download, but it also released the game's first patch in over eight years.
Part of the update included a curious line about fixing graphical glitches that reference long-standing visual bugs.
Here's the relevant line from the patch notes:
- Fixed palette issues to correct rainbow water, 80s Kerrigan face in the loading screen, and other graphic glitches.
The part that stuck out to me in this was mention of "80s Kerrigan face in the loading screen". It's not something I'd encountered while playing the original back in the day, so I was curious to find out more.
In a thread on r/games discussing the update, user PakarRhoy revealed it's a reference to a bug that caused the game's loading screen to mess up with its colours. PakarRhoy posted the screenshot, below, to illustrate the bug.
Now you can see why Blizzard calls this 80s Kerrigan face - we can see the StarCraft star in pink, blue and yellow. Radical!
That image, by the way, looks like it was lifted from a StarEdit Network forum post from over seven years ago by a user called Nintendo_Confed. Nintendo_Confed encountered the glitch and asked for help:
I decided to reinstall Starcraft today and begin playing again a little. So I went to the Battle.net website, where I have registered my game and got a digital copy of the game. Waited a few hours for it to download and then installed it. Right after installing, I popped open the game, got to the menu just fine, but decided to close the game because I was hungry. When I came back, I opened up the game, it got to the load screen and the following happened:
The odd thing is, the game is running just fine, it's only the screen that's frozen. The music continues playing just fine and if I move the mouse around, I can hear the sounds as if I were moving the mouse over the four icons on the main menu. Even if I click them, I will hear the sound of the next screen coming up, but the screen does not change. Like I said, the game is running just fine, I just can't see what I'm doing.
This, by the way, is what Kerrigan is supposed to look like on the StarCraft loading screen:
So there you have it: Blizzard just fixed a bug that's affected StarCraft for at least seven years. Nice work!